The nonsense of "work-life balance"

The term "work-life balance" is becoming more and more widespread and the proliferation of books and seminars is becoming increasingly opaque. But the very idea of work-life balance is a big mistake!

Our lives and thoughts are determined by polarities. Where there is "hot", there is also "cold". Polarities are always connected: Think of a pair of scales, one on the left, the other on the right. If the temperature is low, the scales lean to one side, if it is hot, to the other side, the opposite pole. But what is the opposite pole to work? Is it not working? And what is the opposite pole to life? Being dead?

The term work-life balance suggests that you could put both work and life on the same scale and thus balance them out. But that is precisely the fallacy! You could argue that many workers hand their lives over to the porter in the morning and take them home again in the evening because they are doing work that does not belong to them and their lives. But this is not about balance, but about two things that have nothing to do with each other!

Imagine you are walking past a park with blossoming trees on your way to work. How about standing in front of a tree and saying to it, "Hey, you've been blooming for three days now! Stop it and get into balance!" The plant flowers for as long as its nature allows. No plant would stop flowering or growing in order to come into "balance with its life". This is simply because flowering and growing are an integral part of a plant's life. It knows no polarity between "work" and "life".

It is similar for people who live purpose-based, i.e. who have found the meaning of their life and work, their mission, their purpose. The polarity between work and life disappears the moment you find your purpose and start to live it. Then there is nothing left to balance! You will flourish and grow, around the clock, day after day. Then work will bring you energy. And this is not only possible for people like Mother Teresa or Warren Buffett, but also for you if you seek and find your purpose.

For people whose work is not just part of their life, but whose life is also part of their work, the fashionable term work-life balance has no meaning. Above all, these people understand that work they do just for the sake of money is not meaningful work.

In my interview with Prof. Muhammad Yunus, he said: "Working just to feed yourself? We humans shouldn't do that, we leave that to the animals." So for us, it should be about ensuring that the work we do fulfills us and others emotionally and corresponds to our vocation. We humans should live purpose-based, clearly discover our purpose, become aware of it. And then, as John DeMartini says, "make a hell of a lot of money - if you like!" This is what we call purpose-driven profit.

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